How NFTs are becoming more sophisticated

Companies, institutions, artists or even sports clubs, more and more of them, envision NFT as a utility object, a passport or an access key, far beyond the only use of collection that has been popular for just over a year. .

Drawings of monkeys (the bored monkeys), the line in the first tweet ever posted, or the animation of a naked Donald Trump in the grass, here are some of the NFTs that have each sold for millions of dollars since the beginning of 2021, under the eyes of a broad public that is both fascinated and well-considered. Non-fungible tokens, unique and tamper-proof digital objects, have opened up a new collection market where tens of tens of billions of dollars have flowed in.

However, “NFTs are very rudimentary at the moment”, explains Sandy Khaund, founder of startup Credenza. For him beyond the world of art, “they do not have many features, utility”. “Most are monkeys or something useless”, Juan Otero, general manager of the online travel site Travala, abounds, referring to the famous Bored Apes. Starbucks, which will soon launch its own NFTs, sees it more as one “programmable asset, which can also be a pass”.

Owning a non-fungible token in the colors of the coffee giant will open access to “unique benefits”, as well as a “community”, a new vision of a loyalty program based on blockchain. This technology, on which cryptocurrencies and NFTs are based, makes it possible to use the same module for different applications.

On the institutional side, in July last year, the small republic of San Marino, in the heart of Italy, launched a coronavirus vaccine passport, behind which hid an NFT. While the European digital Covid certificate was designed for the EU, this passport was intended to be verified everywhere without requiring a dedicated mobile app.

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ONE “guaranteed madness thanks to rarity”

Credenza, for its part, is in discussions with sports teams and leagues to introduce a vision of NFT in the Swiss Army Knife version, adapted for new uses. NFTs and blockchain are “available in multiple universes, whether you want to watch an NBA game in the hall or a concert in the meta-verse”illustrates Sandy Khaund, referring to this digital universe where one can lead a virtual life, as in video games Roblox Where Minecraft.

Jenn McMillen, from the marketing company Incendio, also mentions the example of the indie rock band Kings of Leon. As part of the NFT version of his album When you see yourselfhe issued eight “golden tickets,” each guaranteeing four seats in the front row for all of the band’s future tours.

“If you’re a brandexplains Jenn McMillen, think of the most desirable experiences, the most exclusive access or something that will definitely go viral, and wrap it in an NFT al-access. It will be guaranteed madness thanks to its rarity. ”

Among the most successful examples is the tourist booking platform Travala, which claims more than 300,000 monthly active users. In January, the site, which already accepted payments with cryptocurrency, launched the loyalty program Travel Tiger. Apparently, each of the 1,000 NFTs distributed to platform customers is a digital drawing of a tiger reminiscent of Bored Apes. But it is associated with a range of privileges, from access to exclusive events, in the real world and the meta-verse, to discounts or loyalty points.

With Travel Tigers, Travala’s ambition is not to generate revenue, but to create loyalty. “It’s about retaining these users that they continue to use the platform”, Juan Otero admits. Despite the attention they create, “it will probably take two or three years before NFTs reach the general public and traditional companies”, admits the co-founder of Travala. But “when will the next wave come”he announces together with metaverset and Web3 (new decentralized version of the Internet), “I think it will be unprecedented”.

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